The Under 40's Club was officially recognized at the 2007 AHC at Mt Cotton when Australia’s Delegate to the FIA World Council of Motorsport, Garry Connelly, attended to make special presentations to the members of the Club. Before the AHC, there were 9 members; by the end of the first day of competition, there were 11. Each member received a beautiful specially-designed and engraved medallion in a presentation box, a framed certificate and a cloth patch.
At the 2009 QHC, two more drivers achieved sub 40s times for the first time. Local driver, Rod Johns, was the first of the two to join the Club with his 39.94s run. He was soon followed by Douglas Barry (NSW) with his run of 39.77. Scroll down to see photos of the drivers and their cars.
Then, on 29 Nov 2009, in his first year of competition in his new car, Warwick Hutchinson achieved a sub 40s with a 39.82sec at the final round of the Tighe Cams series.
The fifteenth member of the Club joined on 18th April 2010 when Bill Norman did a 39.75 run. As this was in a sports car, Bill also became the first sports car driver to break the 40s barrier.
The Queensland Hillclimb Championships of 2011 attracted such a strong field of interstate competitors that it was inevitable that the Under 40 Sec Club membership would grow in membership. Two new members joined the Club with Brett Hayward achieving an incredible 37.45 on his first competition run and then, later in the day, Rod Moody posting the first of his two sub 40s runs with a 39.84. Brett Hayward went on to smash the outright record, lowering it from 37.42 to 36.57s.
After a two year break, it was good to welcome Ron Hay as a new member to the Club at the 2013 Qld Hillclimb Championships on 2 June 2013, exactly 45 years to the day from the running of the first QHC at Mt Cotton. Ron made two sub-40s runs on the day with the first one being 39.75secs.
The Under 40s Club grew to 19 members when Dean Tighe posted a 38.54s run at Mt Cotton on Saturday 14th September. This time broke the Club record for the track which was subsequently broken again when he lowered
his time to 38.23. Dean is the son of Ivan Tighe who became the second member of the Club 22 years ago.
It was obvious that there would be more members following the Australian Championships held on the 2/3 Nov 2013 and, sure enough, two more competitors quickly put in sub 40s runs. First to do so was Malcolm Oastler who did so on his first competition run; he was followed by Dean Amos who waited until his second run before breaking into the Club.
On November 23, 2013, Bill Norman, already a member of the Under 40s Club in his sports car the GEK, became the first person to go under 40s in a second car when he posted a 39.87 in his Formula Libre Gekko. He later improved that time to 38.71. He has now set two records in membership of the Under 40s Club -- first person to do a sub 40s time in a sports car and first person to do sub 40s times in cars in two different cars - and these of two different categories. It's going to be difficult for anyone to match or exceed this achievement!
On November 23, 2013, Edward McCane joined the Club when he took the ex-Brett Hayward 09 car around the track in 39.05 making him Member No 22.
Neil Lewis became member No 23 of the Club when he took the late John Davies' DBF around the hillclimb in 39.97 on 20 July, 2014. This car had previously been inducted into the Club when John Davies became the fourth person to post a sub-40 time or 39.50 on 4 June, 1995.
History was made on Sept 7, 2014 when 19 year old Michael von Rappard became both the youngest person to join the Club and the only Relief Driver to do so. His first run for the day was a 40.03 so it was no surprise when he jumped into the Under 40s bracket on his third run with a 39.62s, a time which he eclipsed twice later in the day finishing with a best time of 39.23. His father, Harold, was inspired and did a best time of 40.04 showing that he may well be the next member of this prestigious Club.
Before finally making it into the Under 40s Club Jim Milliner had been 'knocking on its door' for some time, having become tantalisingly close on a number of occasions. But he went even closer on the last run of the series runs on Sunday July 12 2015 when he actually drove the track with a time of 39.86 only to have that time registered as 5 seconds slower, a penalty picked up for knocking a cone over on the way (something he had also done on his previous run!). However, he had one more chance to make amends and did so on his run in the Top Six competition which follows the series runs by steering well clear of the troublesome cone and, rather incredibly, posting the identical time of 39.86.
Brett Bull became the 26th member of the Under 40s Club when he posted a 39.85s time on his second run at the Qld Hillclimb Championships on 2 June 2019. The Club records show that Brett was competing at Mt Cotton as early as 1989 - in a Gemini in which he held the class record for some time. Now in a Van Dieman formula libre competition vehicle, it has taken him little time to get his times down until at the 2019 QHC he did his first sub 40s run and became a member of this prestigious Club.
Brett Bull was presented with his medallion
and certificate for joining the Under 40s Club by Club President, Richard Mattea, at the hillclimb on Sept 8th.
Brett Hayward receiving his award from Club Patron, Dick Johnson and MP for Redlands, Peter Dowling
Rodney Moody receiving his award from Club Patron, Dick Johnson and MP for Redlands, Peter Dowling
Garry Connelly addressing the crowd
The Club members are:
An overview of the path to the Under 40's Club
The initial barrier to be broken at the hillclimb was the minute barrier but this was quickly broken at the first hillclimb on 18th February, 1968, by both Ray Jorgensen (58.39s) and Jim Reuter (58.74) on their practice run. Brian Tebble, in Ann Thomson’s Lotus 15, recorded the first official sub-60s run with a 58.59 on his first official run while Tim Harlock (Cooper Ford) also went under the minute with a 58.74. On the second official run, R Robson (Morgan +4) 59.89 and R Atkinson (Formula V) 58.77 joined the ‘Under the minute’ group. By day’s end, both Kerry Horgan (Sprite, 57.53) and Will Charlton (MGB, 59.91) had increased the number of ‘Under 60s’ to seven. Fastest time for the day was Ray Jorgensen’s 54.54 making him the first to break the 55s barrier and leaving people wondering how long it would be before the 50s barrier would be broken.
It wasn’t long before it happened; in fact, only four months. At the Qld Hillcimb Championships held in June, Peter Holinger (Holinger Vincent) came very close to being the first to break the 50s barrier when he did a 50.00 on his first run but it was Glynn Scott who, on his second run in his Lotus 23, achieved it with a 48.9s. By the end of the day, the fastest time had been lowered to 47.4s by Peter Holinger.
The next goal was to break 45s and Paul England, at the 1970 AHC, came close with a best time of 45.6s. In August 1971, Murray Bingham got closer with a 45.2 in his Cobra PAC II but it wasn’t until the first round of the 1974 AHC that it was finally broken. Interestingly, it came down to a contest between Paul England and Murray Bingham with both being the winners! Murray Bingham was the ‘moral’ victor with a 44.4s run in practice but that didn’t count as an official time so Paul England’s event-winning 44.7s went in the record books as the first under 45s time posted in competition.
It took some time before that 44.7s time was bettered and it was local driver Gary Cossor who did a 44.1s in winning the QHC in his Wortmeyer SCV in June 1978. However, it was just one year later at the AHC that Peter Holinger (Holinger Repco) achieved a 43.3s.
This time held as best until 1982 when Kym Rohrlach (VW Special) got into the 42s with a 42.48s and the following years saw the times tumble as Roger Harrison (Elfin 600C) did a 41.8s in 1983, Ivan Tighe (Chevron) 41.32s in 1985 and a tantalizingly-close 40.29s in 1986. As official timing was given to the nearest tenth of a second this was recorded as a 40.3s.
It was on 31 May, 1987, that the 40s was finally broken by Kym Rohrlach (SA) on his second run with a 39.87s. With official timing being only a tenth of a second, this went down in the record books as 39.90s.Four years later, in June 1991, Ivan Tighe (Qld), this time in his Kaditcha, lowered the record further to 39.86s when he became the second person to break the 40s barrier. Later that year he got the time down to 39.33s.
In June 1995, two more drivers achieved the feat of breaking the 40s barrier when Bill Norris (Hawk Mk II) and John Davies (DBF), both of Qld, achieved times of 39.8s and 39.5s respectively.
It then took until June 2000 for someone else to join this exclusive club and it was Peter Gumley (NSW) who, with a 39.19s in his Wortmeyer SCV, also beat the ‘best ever’ time of 39.21s set by Bill Norris at a Club hillclimb on 11 October 1998.
At the AHC in September 2001, New South Welshmen Eric Barnes and Peter Finlay both ‘joined the Club’ with 39.97 and 39.87 respectively.
Then, the following year, Alan McConnell (Qld) with a 39.39, became the 8th driver to achieve a sub-40 run.
Despite a number of drivers going tantalizingly close to breaking the 40s barrier, it then took until the QHC in June 2007 for another to actually do it when Victorian Andrew Howell (Gould GR55B) posted a 38.32s on his first official run.
At the AHC in November, two more quickly joined the Club with Greg Ackland (Vic) doing a 39.90 in his Ninja GA7 and Tom Donovan (NSW) a 39.65 in his Pilbeam MP82.
Warwick stops the clock at 39.82.
Warwick shares his happiness after his first sub 40 run.
Pictured are Doug Barry (left) and Rod Johns (right) with the medallions presented to them on their achieving their first sub 40s time at Mt Cotton at the Qld Hillclimb Championships held on 14th June 2009.
Brett Bull, Van Diemen RF03K, 39.85s, 02 June 2019 - photo by David Woodley - Latest member of the Under 40's Club
Jim Milliner - OMS2000M - Photo by Steve Johns
Photos below are of members of the Under 40's Club. Click each photo for a larger view and hold your mouse on the photo for details.
PHOTOS BELOW ARE FROM THE PRESENTATIONS AT THE 2007 AHC
Some of the crowd
The group with Gary Connoly
Kym Rohrlach VW Special - Photo by Alan McConnell
Ivan Tighe - Kaditcha, photo Wayne Reed
Bill Norris - Hawk, photo John Clatworthy
John Davies - DBF
Peter Gumley - Wortmeyer SCV, photo Wayne Reed
Alan McConnell - Van Diemen, photo Wayne Reed
Andrew Howell - Gould GR55B, photo Wayne Reed
Greg Ackland - Ninja GA7, photo Wayne Reed
Tom Donovan - Pilbeam MP82, photo Wayne Reed
Eric Barnes - Farrell F2, photo club archives
Peter Finlay - March 77B, photo club archives